Saints of Silence

The student fraternity Circumflex, located on Capucijnenstraat, Maastricht, was not intially welcome in the neighbourhood four year ago. The neighbours feared excessive night time noise and opposed the fraternity renting the old cloister. Through an ongoing dialogue, an agreement was reached that the students would have to ensure that the street was kept quiet at night. It was a pact of silence.

Instead of opposing this rule, the fraternity adopted the restriction as an addition to their many pre-existing rituals. A student bouncer sits on a bar stool on the pavement every night ensuring that the members walk down the street in silence. The students are not allowed to stand still, talk, drink or smoke on Capucijnenstraat and have to instead make the walk in silence to the main street.

By being present on the street every night, the fraternity bouncers offer an additional security to the neighborhood of Capucijnenstraat. We wished to honor the students´ contributions while at the same time making a visual statement that although the individual students´ time in Maastricht is temporary, the presence of students in the city is permanent. They are as much a part of the community as the children attending the school next door and the rest of the residents on the street. We wished to show how a social group has been willing to meet the community half way by instructing their 700 members to be silent.

Therefore, we have called them the “Saints of Silence”, designed a permanent baldechin structure to mark their place in the neighborhood, and re-designed their jackets to communicate security and care for the other residents. Combined these simple changes have made the community more aware of the contributing qualities that this fraternity has on the community and offered a greater sense of belonging to the students of Circumflex.

Saints of Silence. from Shame on Vimeo.

Photos / Editing: Nichon Glerum

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.